Sark has miles of breath-taking coastline with spectacular scenery and a great choice of sandy bays or pebbly coves to explore, though you have to be prepared for a bit of an expedition to reach some of them. Sark is a plateau island, therefore most of the beaches involve a combination of steps and paths which can be fairly steep. Sea bathing in Sark is also a wonderful experience. The water is clean, clear… and, it has to be admitted, rather chilly. The water is at its warmest in August and September when it can reach 16 or 17 degrees Celsius. Do call in to the Visitor Centre for suggestions and directions to some of our most popular beaches.
One of the most fortunate things about living on a small island is that you can always go to a bay on the lee side and get out of the prevailing wind. The state of the tide and where the sun is can also be considered. Here are just a few examples of our most popular bays:
Which bay when?
Derrible is best for the beach at low tide but it is lovely swimming off the rocks at high tide.
Dixcart Lovely especially at low tide when the sand is exposed, also the most easily accessible. For shelter, try this one if the wind is northerly.
Creux Harbour Very popular with local children and families. Take care to keep away from boats. Not suitable for swimming at low tide. The only beach with a café (and toilets) nearby! For shelter, try this one if the wind is westerly.
Derrible Beautiful sandy beach at low tide and at high tide you can swim off the rocks. Quite a long route down (and up!) but well worth the effort and great for snorkeling. Caves to explore at low tide. The path is close to the cliff edge, so take care with children. For shelter try this one if the wind is northerly.
Greve de la Ville Gorgeous at high tide in the morning. For shelter try this one if the wind is westerly.
Port du Moulin Best from half tide up to half tide down. Pebbly cove. Excellent for snorkelling. Go through the rock arch on the right to swim in a tiny cove around half tide, but be careful not to get cut off by the tide. For shelter try this one if the wind is easterly.
Eperquerie Landing A small pebbly bay just north of the landing. Be careful on the large slippery rocks. For shelter try this one if the wind is south westerly.
Venus Pool In Little Sark, but quite difficult to find. A natural rock pool deep enough to swim in. Accessible two hours either side of low water. Lovely flat rocks for sunbathing. Path to pool is very sheer and can be slippery and dangerous. For shelter try this one if the wind is northerly.
Port Gorey In Little Sark. Deep water, and good for fishing. For shelter try this one if the wind is north or easterly.
Havre Gosselin Small landing, deep water. Steep path. For shelter try this one if the wind is easterly.
As well as those above, there are numerous other small coves and rock launching platforms which you may find. If you are jumping in, always give some prior consideration to the depth and how you are going to get out. Rocks covered with seaweed can be very slippery and a swell can make climbing out tricky.
Reasonable care must be taken at all times. You swim at your own risk. There are no beach guards and no safe bathing flags. At high tide, expect to find yourself in deep water quite quickly though at low tide you can wade out quite a way for a swim at Dixcart and Derrible. You are not advised to swim outside the bay unless you are a very confident swimmer.
Children should be supervised at all times, and please remember that blow up beach toys can quickly be blown out to sea in an offshore wind. When visiting a beach on your own it is always sensible to tell somebody where you are going and what time you expect to be coming back.
This is very enjoyable in Sark as the water is so clear. As well as many colourful varieties of seaweed, it is common to see wrasse, mullet, pollack and other fish. There is no dive school in Sark, all snorkelling is done at the person’s own risk. Please note that spear fishing and the use of harpoons to hunt fish or crustacean is illegal in Sark. It is also illegal to take any kind of shellfish by diving.
Please keep to the footpaths and use only designated stiles/steps. Do not walk too close to the cliff edges or any over-hanging ledges. The Isle of Sark Administration and the private landowners cannot be held responsible for any accidents, no matter how they might be caused.